“I have always loved pediatrics and interacting with families...”
Dr. Mark Francis has spent over 25 years helping kids in Massachusetts grow up healthy. Dr. Francis says one of the things he enjoys the most about being a pediatrician is treating the children of his former patients. “I’m into my second generation of patients now,” he explains. “Watching kids grow up and then having them come back with their own children is incredibly rewarding to me. I have always loved pediatrics and interacting with families and making that connection.”
Dr. Francis believes that working closely with families on issues is the key to proper care. “For instance, if parents are having trouble with their newborn child sleeping, I can give parents a card that outlines the Ferber method, a type of sleep training, but that rarely works all by itself, you have to provide individual guidance.” he explains. “For instance, I often tell new parents to wait as long as you possibly can when your baby is crying at night, and then wait another 30 to 60 seconds. So you are incorporating the Ferber method, but not as strictly. It actually works surprisingly well.”
According to Dr. Francis, assisting children with their mental health needs has become a big part of a pediatrician’s job. “Today, over a third of the visits to a pediatrician’s office are mental-health related. Although there are more mental health services now, there’s more children who need these services. That’s why having a behavioral health provider in the office that can help children with their mental health needs – like we do at Reliant – is so important.”
Another big problem that Dr. Francis deals with on a daily basis is obesity. “It’s a difficult problem to deal with, especially with children, because you have to have complete buy-in with the family. That’s because it’s the parents who are usually controlling the food that’s coming into the house,” he explains. “It’s also not just diet, you have lack of exercise, too much time playing video games, and neighborhoods where safety is a concern. There are a lot of factors that go into obesity and they are not always easy to control.”
In his free time Dr. Francis enjoys being with his family (he has two daughters) and enjoys playing golf and exercising as much as possible.
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Registration specialists are available by phone Monday through Friday, 7:30 AM to 6:00 PM, by calling (508) 425-5857. If it's outside of business hours, or you'd prefer a Reliant team member to contact you, fill out the form below and a registration specialist will call you to complete the registration process. We look forward to caring for you and your family!
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